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Harvest fires

We're hearing of multiple combine fires that have broken out during harvest in Iowa. Are you seeing this in your area?

 

What do you think is contributing to the higher rate of fires this year? Bigger crop? Windier? Drier crops?

 

What say you,

Anna

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3 Replies
Veteran Contributor

Re: Harvest fires

yup same here in Minnesota

 

 Had my 50 series Deere on fire 3 times. Lucky each time smelled it the first time and beat the fire on the engine out with my gloved hand. the next 2 times were just smoldering fires in the same location on top of engine valve cover and beside exhaust manifold.

The high winds and the extreme dry conditions cause corn leaves to get up there. Doesn't take long for it to catch fire when the engine is working almost to it's limit in good corn.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Harvest fires

 
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Veteran Contributor

Re: Harvest fires

While not exactly a harvest fire, in January of 2014 I had a really close call.  A dry cold front had come through, producing 8F and 25 mph winds that night.  Being 26, my son never never has to go pee at night, but for some odd reason he did that night at around 2AM.  He noticed a bright light shining through the window and saw a fire quickly coming up the driveway.  He woke me up and we quickly threw on a jacket and boots.  Fortunately I had left the scoop shovel at the back door, which I used to beat out the part of the fire that was heading straight for 65 big bales of hay.  We got it put out within about 5' of the hay stack.  We noticed a burning SUV at the end of the driveway and when I looked in, there was the remains of a person with most of the flesh burned away.  The fire was hot enough to melt the aluminum wheels into puddles.  The fire department got the rest of the fire put out after buring up some pasture and fence posts.  The deceased was hauled off while still in the charred remains of the SUV.  Not sure where they went with him.

 

It's funny how things work.  First off, the boy never had/has to get up and I mean never.  And had he gotten up 5 minutes later, the quickly moving fire would of had my entire winter's hay on fire and we all know a hay fire is impossible to extinguish.  That would have caught the garage (pole barn) on fire, which would have burned up my minivan, Studebaker and touring motorcycle.  That would have caught a smaller building on fire and burned up two more bikes.  And lastly, the fire would have spread to my wood shed, burning up my winter's supply of firewood.   I would have gotten up the next morning to find I had nothing left of the hay or vehicles. 

 

Seeing the charred corpse didn't bother me at all until the next day when I found the driver was a 22 year old kid my other son had went to school with.  My first thoughts were of his parents and the anguish they were going through.  There were no skid marks, the actual fender bender damage to the vehicle was actually quite minimal and the air bag should have deployed.  Makes me wonder if he was dead before he ever hit the tree.  Hope so.  

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